PAC Audit Leads To Arrest

A former accounts receivable clerk at Costa Mesa, Calif.’s Orange County Performing Arts Center was arrested and accused of embezzling about $1.6 million following a routine annual audit of the PAC’s books, prosecutors said.

Ana Limbaring – who worked at the venue for more than 10 years – was arrested September 19th and arraigned days later on 29 charges that include multiple counts of grand theft, falsely stating her financial condition and 11 counts of computer access and fraud.

“The matter was brought to our attention during our annual audit and we researched the matter and contacted the Costa Mesa Police Department,” Orange County PAC spokesman Todd Bentjen told Pollstar. “Following their investigation, they placed the Center employee under arrest.”

Bentjen couldn’t comment further due to the ongoing investigation, but added the venue is working with insurers on recovery of approximately $1.6 million.

A preliminary investigation suggests that Limbaring used her position as the person in charge of accounts receivable to skim funds from the venue’s receipts starting in 2000, Deputy District Atty. Randy Pawloski said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Center officials are reportedly trying to establish whether checks or credit card transactions were also involved – and whether there is more money unaccounted for.

Limbaring’s attorney, Christopher Glew, said he expects to hire an independent accountant to review the PAC’s books and other documents, the Times reported.

“Right now we’re only in possession of a small portion of what they claim to have,” Glew said.

In her position, Limbaring was responsible for accepting the PAC’s daily cash revenue from security officers. Her job entailed depositing the funds directly into the nonprofit organization’s bank account, prosecutors said in a statement. Limbaring was the only employee who had access to the daily revenue deposits.

Limbaring pleaded not guilty to embezzlement. If convicted she could face up to 10 years in prison.

The former employee is being held on $2 million bail and an immigration hold has been placed on her because she is a Philippines citizen, Glew said.

Mitchell Peters